JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Jonesboro man said Friday that his love of jazz provided the inspiration to create two programs within the Arkansas State University jazz program.
A-State officials said in a media release that Kade Holliday made a gift commitment of $500,000 to create an endowed professorship of jazz studies and an endowed scholarship for outstanding students in the jazz program.
Holliday, who also works as Craighead County Clerk, said he has pledged additional gifts on a yearly basis as the gift endowment builds to maturity.
Holliday, who is an A-State graduate with an undergraduate degree in finance, with an emphasis on corporate finance, insurance and banking, also received a Masters of Business Administration and is working on a Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree.
The Jonesboro resident has been a supporter of the program and said the decision to give was important to him, officials said.
“The reason I decided to make this gift is simple. I saw a need and a place that I knew that I could assist. Music, especially jazz, has held a special place in my heart as it provided a mechanism for me to create and foster lifelong friendships, gave my creativity an outlet and provided an escape that only music can truly provide,” Holliday said.
While at A-State, Holliday was a member of the marching band, trombone choir, jazz band, concert band, orchestra and wind ensemble.
Holliday said Dr. Kenneth D. Carroll, director of the jazz studies program, has served as a mentor for him and other students.
Carroll said the gift from Holliday provides not only funding but an opportunity to help countless students in their future.
“His desire to honor his time in the jazz studies area and his words of praise are truly humbling,” Carroll said. “His prestigious gift will be transformative for the program and students. The present gift will aid generations of students and establish A-State as the jazz education center of the region.”